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Photo Craft Technique Adjusting skin tones in Lightroom?

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Old Nov-12-2007, 05:32 AM
#1
Pexi is offline Pexi OP
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Adjusting skin tones in Lightroom?
I'm having difficulties in finding correct settings for balanced skin tones in Lightroom. The photo below was shot last week in Milan motorcycle exhibition in mixed lighting conditions and it is probably my worst case from there. Specific questions:

1. When I did the post-processing in my Dell laptop, colors looked strong but not eye-hurting; now I'm looking at the photo in my office and it's oh la la! How does it look from your average monitor?

2. Can you advice me where to go with LR for balanced skin? How do YOU approach skin tones in LR?



Thanks a lot in advance,
Pexi
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Old Nov-12-2007, 09:20 AM
#2
hamster is offline hamster
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Pexi, this may or may not help, but I find that the Skin presets provided in this set work really well for me. They are free. Good luck.
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Old Nov-12-2007, 12:59 PM
#3
Icebear is online now Icebear
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Oversaturated??
My first impression isn't of wrong color balance, but of oversaturation. Maybe you and I both need to calibrate our monitors
Old Nov-12-2007, 03:20 PM
#4
Giphsub is offline Giphsub
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I have found LR saturation which looks fine in LR to come out well oversaturated when printed. I have an imac too though, so the glossy screen certainly doesn't help.
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Old Nov-14-2007, 07:21 AM
#5
SloYerRoll is offline SloYerRoll
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Maybe a bit oversaturated in the reds. Like you said though. Your lighting was horrid. Not much you can do about that. I can see three different light temps on her leather pants alone.

Is you monitor calibrated? Doesn't matter how much you work on it. If your monitor isn't on point, your not going to get good results. Even moving from a dark room to a light room while editing will change how you make your adjustments in Lr. So having a routine where you run post on all your shots in roughly the same ambinet light environment (while not critical) is pretty important.

Do you have any other examples that have natural light? In this specific case your trying to have lightroom give you a miracle. Adobe is good at pixels and vectors, not miracles.

I have a few other thoughts on this. I'd like to know what you say about the above before I say those though, since I don't want to guess to much.

Cheers,
-Jon
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Old Nov-14-2007, 11:32 AM
#6
Pexi is offline Pexi OP
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Thanks for comments everyone!

SloYerRoll, your questions:

Quote:
Is you monitor calibrated?
A: No, neither of the monitors I'm staring is calibrated. Actually, there's a huge difference between the two - the laptop screen is obviously really dull, office desktop LCD is ... something else. I doubt that the laptop monitor can be calibrated at all.

Quote:
Do you have any other examples that have natural light?
Sure I do, yet I'm not quite sure what you're after, so I might post something irrelevant, but here are two outdoor examples, imported to LR with def parameters and then cropped:





Quote:
In this specific case your trying to have lightroom give you a miracle. Adobe is good at pixels and vectors, not miracles.
I'm just trying to learn, I'm not blaming Adobe LR here! I understand that the lighting was far from optimal, but in a way, that's why this is a good chance to develop new skills. I don't think I'm looking for a miracle, but I stand corrected.
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Old Nov-14-2007, 12:25 PM
#7
LiquidAir is offline LiquidAir
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I keep a copy of the http://www2.chromix.com/ColorSmarts/...tty Test Image in my lightroom database as a color reference. The nominal caucasion skin tone in that photo is around R=80%, G=70%, B=60% in the highlights. I don't always try to match that exactly, but I do usually shoot to have G be about halfway between R and B.

Here are some general guidlines:

If B is less than about 3/4 of R, your skin tone is probably oversaturated.
If G is too close to B, you probably need to adjust the Temp control
If G is too close to R, you probably need to adjust the Tint control

It can be tricky because if you move both Temp and Tint to the right and saturation to the left, you can end up with nearly same skin color but change everything else in your image. If you have a problem image where the skin seems about right but everthing else is off, try adjusting the saturation and recorrecting your skin with the Temp and Tint controls.

Finally, there are some cases where the ACR engine just plain screws up the color. In particular, I often have issues with images which have saturated reds. Sometimes I can sort the problem out with the red, orange, and yellow hue sliders. If all else fails, that is something to try.

Now on to your image:

It looks to me like your model is picking up a red reflection from the motorcycle. Because of the relfection, you have a mixed color cast in your image which means you need local control over the color. Sometimes you get lucky and you can straighten it out in Lighroom, but many images like this require Photoshop.
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Old Nov-14-2007, 02:38 PM
#8
SloYerRoll is offline SloYerRoll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pexi
Sure I do, yet I'm not quite sure what you're after, so I might post something irrelevant, but here are two outdoor examples, imported to LR with def parameters and then cropped:
I was asking for an image so there would be some sort of benchmark to work off of. If it's natural light and they look way to red or green. We know there's a problem in your workflow. If it looks pretty good, then your dealing w/ crappy light and that's the end of it.
I think this is a case of bad lighting on your model and your day to day shots look fine. A bit off, but nothing to speak of.

I'd be interested in seeing what the guys in Finishing School would do w/ this. Either way LA is correct. Lr just doesn't have the flexability to select certain areas to correct this.
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Old Nov-15-2007, 01:24 PM
#9
Pexi is offline Pexi OP
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Thanks!
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Old Nov-15-2007, 02:29 PM
#10
LittleLew is offline LittleLew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidAir
I keep a copy of the http://www2.chromix.com/ColorSmarts/smartNote.cxsa?snid=1126]Getty Test Image in my lightroom database as a color reference. The nominal caucasion skin tone in that photo is around R=80%, G=70%, B=60% in the highlights. I don't always try to match that exactly, but I do usually shoot to have G be about halfway between R and B.
This seems to be gone from the web.
The site liks to a non-existent page at Getty images.

Would you be willing to distribute your copy?

Lew
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Old Nov-15-2007, 10:18 PM
#11
Glenn NK is offline Glenn NK
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I think I read in Martin Evening's book on LR that Saturation will tend to increase the oranges in skin tones too much, and that Vibrance is preferred.
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Old Nov-17-2007, 06:51 AM
#12
dmmattix is offline dmmattix
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They probably just reorganized the site
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleLew
This seems to be gone from the web.
The site liks to a non-existent page at Getty images.

Would you be willing to distribute your copy?

Lew
Here it is: http://www2.chromix.com/ColorSmarts/...23E5lnyk3FB26D


Regards,

Mike
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Old Nov-17-2007, 06:55 AM
#13
dmmattix is offline dmmattix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmmattix
My apologies I found a blank page at Chromix and found the correct page I did not follow it down to the Getty site before I posted. You are correct the Getty images site seems to have either taken down or moved that group of postings.

Again Sorry

Mike
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Old Nov-17-2007, 07:15 AM
#14
LittleLew is offline LittleLew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmmattix
My apologies I found a blank page at Chromix and found the correct page I did not follow it down to the Getty site before I posted. You are correct the Getty images site seems to have either taken down or moved that group of postings.

Again Sorry

Mike
THat's OK.
Would you be willing to put your copy on a free ftp site (like yousendit.com) for download?

Lew
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Old Nov-17-2007, 10:40 AM
#15
dmmattix is offline dmmattix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleLew
This seems to be gone from the web.
The site liks to a non-existent page at Getty images.

Would you be willing to distribute your copy?

Lew
Sorry. I lost it in my last computer move, forgotten where I got it, and was glad when this thread showed up but alas...

Mike
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Old Nov-17-2007, 11:21 AM
#16
photocat is offline photocat
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Went to an adobe day couple of weeks ago, and they specified that if you want nice skintones, you want to use the vibrance slider instead of the saturation one. Vibrance will put a good color into the photographs, but will leave the skin tone alone.
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Old Nov-17-2007, 10:30 PM
#17
Glenn NK is offline Glenn NK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photocat
Went to an adobe day couple of weeks ago, and they specified that if you want nice skintones, you want to use the vibrance slider instead of the saturation one. Vibrance will put a good color into the photographs, but will leave the skin tone alone.
From "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book by Martin Evening", Page 149:

Both the Vibrance and Saturation sliders can be use to boost the saturation in an image. The difference between the two is that the Saturation slider applies a linear adjustment to the colour saturation, whereas a Vibration adjustment uses a nonlinear approach.

In plain English this means that when you apply a Vibrance adjustment, the less saturated colours will get more of a saturation boost than those colours that are already saturated. This can be of real practical benefit when applying a saturation adjustment to a picture where you want to make the softer colours look brighter, but don't want to brighten them at the expense of losing important detail in the already bright colours.

The other benefit of working with Vibrance is that it has a built-in skin colour protector that should filter out colours that fall in the skin colour range. This can be useful if you are editing a portrait and you want to boost the colour of someone's clothing, but at the same time, you don't want to oversaturate the subject's skin tones.

My personal experience bears this out. I find that flowers in the orange to red range can easily be over-saturated with the Saturation slider, resulting in loss of detail. For these, I primarily use Vibrance (unless they really need some boost).
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Old Nov-18-2007, 03:34 PM
#18
Giphsub is offline Giphsub
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interesting tidbit of info there! I will lock that one away in my memory!
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Old Aug-23-2010, 07:09 AM
#19
rickp is offline rickp
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I second that!!!
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